How to Sell My RV: Should I Trade, Consign, or Sell it Myself?

It would sure be nice if I could tell you there is one cut and dry best answer to the question, “How should I sell my RV?” but, like most things in life, there isn’t.

What’s best for you isn’t always what’s best for someone else. In the 3+ decades Bish’s has sold RVs, we’ve seen RVers get rid of their RV every which way. Sometimes these RVers are happy with their choice, sometimes they’re not. 

It can be hard to get the unbiased information you need to confidently make the best decision for you. Here we’ll provide what you need to know to decide whether you should sell your RV yourself, consign, or trade it in. This information can help you walk away from the sale of your RV happy and confident you sold your RV the best way for you.

3 ways to sell your rv: find out the pros and cons of trading in, consignment and selling your rv yourself

What’s Ahead:

What’s the Difference Between Selling, Consigning, and Trading-in My RV?

Sell Your RV Yourself 

This is just like it sounds, you sell the RV yourself. You can do it your way. You may go old school and park your RV in an abandoned lot off a busy highway with a for sale sign and your phone number. You may embrace the digital age and list the RV on Facebook Marketplace, RV Trader, Craigslist, etc. 

However you do it, you’re in charge of the sale and everything that goes along with it. All the effort, but also all the profits.

Consign Your RV

When you consign your RV, you agree with an RV dealership to have them sell the RV for you. You and the dealership agree on a price, the dealer does the legwork to sell the RV and lets you know when you have a buyer. You get the amount you agreed to and the dealer keeps whatever they sell above that.  

If you’re interested, you can learn more about RV consignment.

Trade Your RV 

If you’re already an RVer but ready for a new RV – whether you’ve outgrown your old one, want an upgrade, or need a different class – the dealership will likely consider your current RV for a trade.

The dealer will use the value of your old RV to bring down the price of your new camper. 

Find out how to get to get the most back when you trade-in your RV.

Pros & Cons of Selling Your Own RV

Pros of Selling an RV Yourself:

selling your rv yourself is the best way to make more money for your old rv

You can make more money

  • You sell it – you keep 100% of what you make.
  • Selling your RV yourself is the way to go if you’re looking to get the absolute most, straight cash value, out of your RV.

Cons of Selling Your RV Yourself

Not everyone has time to prep, list, and sell an RV
Do you have time to prep, list, and sell your RV?

Selling an RV takes a lot of time and energy

  • You’ll have to spend time prepping, taking pictures, listing the RV, fielding calls, scheduling walkthroughs, meeting strangers in sketchy parking lots at dusk, and having endless conversations haggling over price.
  • It also may take longer to find the right buyer willing to pay what you’re looking to make.

You may have a smaller audience: Many dealers have a nationwide network. Social media or unpaid listing sites have a smaller reach. It may take longer to sell the RV with fewer eyes on it.

Less buyer confidence: Dealers can have buyer perks and service benefits that give an RV buyer extra confidence. Many buyers will be okay buying from an individual, but there are some buyers who won’t buy without the safety net of a dealership.

May not get the best price: Without accurate valuation tools you may accept less than you should on your RV. A dealership’s perspective may help you get a better idea of your RV’s actual value.

Financing: Without the dealer to arrange financing you may be left waiting for the buyer to secure the cash – and hoping they don’t flake out.

Pros & Cons of Consigning Your RV

Pros of RV Consignment:

Saves you time: The Dealership will prep, list, field calls, and manage any price haggling for your RV.

More eyes on your RV: More eyes may mean a faster turn around and better return. RVs at dealerships get more foot traffic from customers visiting dealer lots and more people see the professional photos on online listings.

Larger market area

  • Facebook will limit you to a 100 miles radius.
  • A dealership advertises anywhere they have locations. Bish’s, for example, has a nationwide presence and can ship your RV to a buyer that’s anywhere in the lower 48 states.

    Bish’s can ship to any of their locations or directly to a buyer.

Gives the buyer confidence

  • A buyer may pay more knowing the RV has been inspected and evaluated by professionals.
  • They may feel more comfortable having a relationship with a dealer for repairs.

Easier to get financing: The dealer can handle the financing for the person buying your RV. 

Learn more about the benefits of consigning your RV and how to consign to see if this is the right process for you. Click below to begin the consignment process if you decide it’s a good fit.

Consigning is an easy way to sell your rv at bish's rv
Click to start consigning your RV

Cons of Consigning Your RV

You may make less:

  • The final amount you take home may be less than you would get by selling the RV yourself. Though, this isn’t always the case, since you may have more people to sell to or it may be priced better at the dealer.
  • If you’re going to buy another RV the consigned value won’t apply toward the total cost or reduce your sales tax on that new RV.

You’ll need insurance for the RV: You’ll have to pay insurance for your RV while it’s on the dealer lot, since you still own the RV.

Pros & Cons of an RV Trade In

Pros of Trading-in an RV

No hassle: No hassle, and no need to think about any of the selling process.

It’s super fast: Your RV is gone immediately. You don’t have to spend one minute waiting for a buyer.

No insurance required: You won’t need to carry insurance for an RV you aren’t actively using.

Saves money on your next RV

  • Your trade-in applies toward the cost of your next RV.
  • In some states it can lower the sales tax for your next RV, as the trade value applies to the final total of the new camper.
  • May incentivize dealers, hungry for used inventory, to give you a better deal on the new RV. You may take less for the trade than you would selling it, but you also might pay less for your new RV, which could mean more money left in your bank account overall. 

Consigning is a commitment

  • Most dealers will have you sign a consignment agreement for a certain time period.
  • At Bish’s we’ll sign for 90 days. If you change your mind about consigning and decide to pick up your RV before the 90 days ends we charge $500 to cover our prep and listing costs.

Cons of Trading in Your RV

Lower dollar amount for your RV

  • The dealership will evaluate your RV and decide how much work they need to do to sell it to another RVer. They’ll give you a fair amount based on their expenses. You may, however, take a lower value for the RV than you would selling it yourself. 

    Learn more about how dealers decide what your RV is worth.
find out your RV's trade value
learn how to get more for your rv trade in

Find the Best Way For You To Sell Your RV

Should I Sell My RV Myself?

It may look like the list of pros for selling your own RV is short and the list of cons is long. But how many things are on each list matters less than how important each factor is to you.

Weigh each of the pros and cons to make your best decision. 

Yes, sell it yourself if:

  • Getting as much as possible for your RV is the most important factor for you. This is especially true if you need to sell your RV for financial reasons – say you lost a job, or have unexpected medical expenses. 
  • You have the time, energy, patience, and resources to sell your RV. Hey, you may even enjoy the process of finding the right buyer and getting maximum return for your RV. Maybe you’ll even make a buddy when you meet up in that Walmart parking lot for a walkthrough. 

No, don’t sell it yourself if:

  • You would rather save time than possibly make extra money.

    If you’re on the fence about selling the RV yourself, you can always try it out. If it doesn’t work out, or it’s not for you, you can try one of the other two options.

Should I Consign My RV?

Yes, consign your RV if:

  • You value time more than money. Consigning is a great solution if you don’t have the time and resources to prep, list, field calls, haggle, etc. For you potentially making a little less is worth the many hours you’ll get back in your life. 
  • You aren’t looking to purchase another RV. Maybe you want a break from RV life or didn’t enjoy RVing – whatever your reason – consigning is a great way to just get out of RVing completely. 

    Read more about how consigning your RV works or fill out a consignment form to get started today. 

No, don’t consign your RV if:

  • If you’re going to buy another RV, consigning may not get you the best bang for your buck.

Should I Trade in My RV?

Yes, trade in your RV if:

  • You plan to buy another RV and don’t even want to think about waiting for your current RV to sell.

    When you trade you get the benefit of spending nothing to prep, maintain, or insure the RV while it sells. The RV is immediately out of your hands and into the dealer’s.
  • You want to possibly reduce sales tax and lower the price of your next RV. Find out more about this below.

How Trading-in Can Save You Money When You Buy an RV

In many states you’ll pay less for sales tax the lower your RV’s price. Though some states won’t consider the trade adjusted price when they charge you sales tax.  

Your trade’s value may also give the dealership more wiggle room on the price of your next RV. The dealer may decide that they can sell you your new RV for less margin because they can make up the difference when they sell your used RV. 

This is not always the case, though. Discounts on your new RV will depend on things like the condition of your trade, the potential of your trade to sell, the RV you’re buying, etc. 

If you bought your last RV from Bish’s RV then you’re a member of Bish’s Diamond Club. This membership includes a voucher that will get you more for your trade at a Bish’s location. The voucher is worth $500 – $2,000 more on your trade, depending on your RV.

Discuss your trade’s value and ask the dealer questions to see if your current RV could bring down the price of your next one.

No, don’t trade in your RV if:

  • You’re not looking for another RV.
  • You want the most cash possible for your camper.

Next Steps to Decide Whether You Should Sell, Consign, or Trade Your RV:

Now that you understand the pros and cons of the different ways to sell your RV, you can feel confident that you have the information you need to make sell your RV the best way.

There isn’t one answer for everyone when it comes to selling an RV, so we want you to do what’s best for you. If you’ve learned that selling your RV yourself is the best direction for you, that’s fantastic! If you’ve decided trading or consigning works better for you, we’d love to help.

Bish’s RV accepts consignment and trade-in RVs every day. We’d love to answer any questions you still have or help you sell your RV! 

becki johnson at bish's rv

Becki Johnson

Bish’s RV Content Editor & Writer

20 years in the RV industry and a lifetime around RVs have convinced me that nature is a lot better with a comfortable bed and working bathroom.

I love to use what I’ve learned to help RVers find the best RV for the best possible price.